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managing health care insurance. furthermore, they don't have a right to tell americans if they can or cannot have a procedure performed once the insurance is forced on insurance. forcing people to pay a fine if they choose not to have health care is asinine and the furthest thing from democracy. unfortunately, mr. speaker, shannon is wrong about it being a fine. it's not a criminal penalty. it's a tax. if it were a fine, you could have due process, your day in court, your jury trial. but under a tax you have to pay the tax first and then fight the i.r.s. to try to get it back. sharon from spring, texas, says, now what, we may get the delay in obamacare mandate. after all, because of the cluster it's turned out to be. but what about those of us who have insurance through our employers? my goal level of insurance -- gold level of insurance no longer allows me to participate in the flex spending account. i ultimately had to go to a lower plan because it was cost prohibited. my deductible is higher and now my co-pays are higher. i will be paying at least $2,000 to $3,000 more per year
the result of benign neglect after previous fires. the trees don't come back for many generations. instead, thick brush takes over the land that was one shaded by towering forests. the brush quickly overwhelms any seedling that is trying to start. it hurts the ecosystems with scrub brush. for this reason, i've introduced h.r. 3188, which waives the time-consuming environmental review process and ends the endless litigation that always follows. it authorizes federal forest managers following protocols for salvage to sell the dead timber and to supervise its careful removal while there is still time. the hundreds of millions of dollars raised can then be directed toward replanting the region before layers of brush choke off any advance of forest regrowth for -- chance of forest regrowth. credited for the speedy recovery of the forest. this has spawned tales from the activist left of uncontrolled logging in the sierras. nothing can be further from the truth. this legislation vests full control of the salvage plans with federal forest managers, not the logging companies. it leaves federal fore
an abundance of natural gas today, we still have one key problem. to put it simply, we don't have the necessary pipeline infrastructure to move natural gas from where it is produced to where it is needed most. and i would like to just illustrate how some states are being harmed. according to the energy information administration, in january this year we saw several states with residential natural gas prices way above the national average. for example, new hampshire was 30% above the national average. massachusetts was 43%, maine, 67%, and florida, 68%. unfortunately those living in these and many other states can expect to see higher prices once again this winter, and this is precisely why we are bringing to the floor h.r. 1900. h.r. 1900 simply would bring certainty and agency accountability to the natural gas pipeline permitting process. it would allow natural gas pipelines to be built in a safe, responsible, and timely manner. it would also make existing natural gas pipelines safer. during the legislative hearing on h.r. 1900, we heard testimony from industry of a corrosive natural gas pipel
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